Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The decision makers


Over the next few weeks, I am going to feature members of the House and Senate Agriculture committee members. These are the elected officials who will play a large part in formulating policy for the next ag bill.




Collin Peterson has represented Minnesotas 7th district since 1990. His bio is here. Congressman Peterson has been recognized by the American Farm Bureau, National Farmers Union, National Resource Conservation Service and numerous others. He has served in the Minnesota National Guard and was a CPA before entering congress.
Peterson was a co-sponsor of the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2005, which would provide amnesty and job protection for three million illegal immigrant agricultural workers and their families, and extend the visas of legal immigrant agricultural workers.
More recently he is leading the efforts in the drafting of the 2007 farm bill. He recently proposed opening a dialog with the Senate Ag committee chair Tom Harken of Iowa.
The House chairman, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, described the plan during
a Reuters interview on Tuesday. The Senate chairman, Tom Harkin of Iowa,
confirmed the goal on Wednesday. Weekly meetings would represent an
unusually high level of communication for committee leaders. "We're trying to
make sure we have open lines of communication," said Harkin, who gave Peterson
credit for the idea. "The more we can talk things through, the easier it will
be," said Peterson, to reach final agreement on the farm bill. "We're both on
the same time frame. We want to get this done by September."

Congressman Peterson also recently announced the make up of the 110th Congress Ag committee members:

The Democrats members are: Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Bob Etheridge of North Carolina, Leonard Boswell of Iowa, Joe Baca of California, Dennis Cardoza of California, David Scott of Georgia, Jim Marshall of Georgia, Stephanie Herseth of South Dakota, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Jim Costa of California, John Salazar of Colorado, Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, Nancy Boyda of Kansas, Zack Space of Ohio, Tim Walz of Minnesota, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota, Lincoln Davis of Tennessee, John Barrow of Georgia, Nick Lampson of Texas, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Tim Mahoney of Florida.The Republicans on the panel include: Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, Terry Everett of Alabama, Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Robin Hayes of North Carolina, Timothy Johnson of Illinois, Sam Graves of Missouri, Jo Bonner of Alabama, Mike Rogers of Alabama, Steve King of Iowa, Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado, Randy Neugebauer of Texas, Charles Boustany of Louisiana, Randy Kuhl of New York, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Michael Conaway of Texas, Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, Jean Schmidt of Ohio, Adrian Smith of Nebraska, Kevin McCarthy of California and Timothy Walberg of Michigan.

The Congressman also expressed some concernes with Doha round of trade agreements encouraging the Bush Administration to not negotiate a deal that is bad for farmers and will fail in congress:

The world has it backwards with demands the United States step up offers to
reform controversial farm subsidies in order to salvage world trade talks, a
top U.S. lawmaker said on Tuesday.
"They've all been saying we have to do more, but the reality is these other folks are going to have to do more before we do more. I think it's backwards," Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, told Reuters....Peterson warned the Bush administration's negotiators against making offers that Congress wouldn't be
able to stomach.

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